Columbia, SC
Tuition (in-state)
$27,644 ($10,488)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2891 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Columbia has lots of southern food that might not be as healthy as you would like. There are lots of options around campus for any type of dining you would like. The overall items will be for American fare, but there are lots of Ethiopian, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Swedish, Chinese, and Caribbean selections.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Columbia has lots of places across the city to appease your palate. Living in the south you have a variety of things to choose from that range from surf and turf style, to wild game in SC. The city has many places to examine such as Columbia Museum of Art, the State Museum, Edventure for children, ITology, and lot's of place off the beaten path. There is one location that lots of college students do like to gather, but it has since become a little worrisome to the city for fights, assaults, and arrests. Five points is nicely designed but there are various personalities that frequent the area that make it an area to be aware of when you are out alone when going to and from bars or clubs. The city is working to deal with problem, but it will take some time to turn it around.

4 College Senior

Academics: I am in library and information science as a graduate student. The courses have been great, the professors superb. There are lots of chances to have assistance if I should need it and side projects and events on campus to keep your geared to your major. A great experience. The workload is constant as I am reading lots of journal articles, and having to do research constantly to find them. Its not hard, however, but time consuming. My courses are mainly online so I am grateful I only need to come to campus every so often.

4 College Senior

Academics: The university if really great, and it has the only School of library and information science in the state of South Carolina. The curriculum is a constant flow of topics for librarians. There are excellent professors who will assist you in the event there are problems, but are constantly putting out reminders. They truly don't want anyone to fail. It a good caring environment, but not to the point of overly emotional.

4 College Senior

Greek Life: The Greeks at USC Columbia have great opulent chapter houses. Being southern there is a friendly atmosphere between the white Greek organizations and the black Greek organizations. There lots of parties and events, but the groups also conduct events in the community, for literacy, for competition, and just for fun. The university is trying hard to deal with underage drinking, outrageous frat parties, and hazing.

4 College Senior

Scholarships: The amount was great for me specifically, but the school was transitioning to a new system and that caused a hassle that stopped not only myself but many others where we were dropped from class, lost financial aid, and had to get documents from instructors to state that we were in the courses from the start. Hopefully it has been corrected and is working. Most things were handled online and on the phone. I only needed to come to campus when there was a serious flaw that required me to prove that I was the person they needed to speak with about the financial aid.

4 College Senior

Weather: The weather is beautiful in the Spring, Fall, and Winter. The only concerns are that Columbia, seems to sit in the middle of the state and when the summer is here, it gets very humid. There usually are 100% humidity most of the summer season, along with temperatures that range between 90 to 97 degrees. The summer of 2013 for Columbia was very rare and bearable with temperature high at 89-93 with low humidity. All other seasons are great with lots greenery in the summer. It does get cold from time to time, but will have the rare chance of light snow every couple of years.

3 College Senior

Transportation: If you don't live close to the campus. You have choices but the best alternative is to have a car. If you stay at one of the apts around campus you may be able to use the shuttle service that is offered by place you are staying. The university has numerous shuttles to take you around campus and various stops that are close to campus. The City of Columbia, SC has public buses that will take you about 20 miles out in most directions from the city of Columbia. The bus system does go to the airport, close to train station, shopping malls, and specific office complexes. There just is not enough of them to have frequent times to go throughout the day.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Overall the university is great and is always full of life and activity. The student body has many paths to consider for life, love, leisure, and labor.

3 College Senior

Diversity: The Columbia campus has a variety of diverse mindsets, viewpoints, and races. The larger percentage is of campus is white, but there is a large percentage of minorities on the campus. The reason it is not an A is because the university is great at showing diversity in athletics and sports, but academically it is still off base incorporating these ideals in academics

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Many of our dorms are either being renovated or are recently renovated. Also the ones that are being renovated right now are in the heart of campus.

1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I am a white female who's dad owns his own business so I wasn't eligible for any help in regards to financial aid. Also not many scholarships applied to me.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I feel relatively safe in regards to health because when I am working I see how much the janitors really clean. I've also never seen anything in or around the food we are going to eat that I found to be gross. Safety is tricky for our campus. I feel like the university does all that it can but you are after all living in downtown Columbia so you shouldn't walk by yourself at night.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: The campus police are very nice and easy to talk to as long as you don't get an attitude. Underage drinking isn't shocking to anyone it is a big pull for USC if you get caught you might get a drinking ticket it depends on how much you have had to drink. Overall cheating is what this University seems to be the most strict about.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: The only drug scene on campus that I have noticed is alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol is by far the most prevalent and is virtually everywhere. It is fairly easy to get your hands on alcohol.

4 College Sophomore

Weather: I was born and raised in the south so having a hot summer and mild winter is a necessity for me. The summer in Columbia are very very hot and humid. A good amount of people are still wearing shorts and short sleeves at the end of October. The winters usually are mild and only get down to about 30 degrees.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The university of South Carolina is downtown Columbia, SC. This being said anyone who has been to Columbia has heard of the infamous five points. Five points is where most of the students who are under age go. Five points has the clubs and bars that allow and 18 and older. They are also known for being really bad at spotting a fake ID. It is a really short walk from campus, I would estimate the distance at being less then a half mile from the center of campus. There is also the option of going to the Vista which is where every one is legal goes to drink and relax. The bars in the Vista are generally more sophisticated and less sloppy. The Vista also contains many of the date style restaurants and is about 1 mile from campus.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: USC has one of the best campus's available in the south. It offers the beauty of nature while still keeping the moderate pace of being in a small city. Being on campus is like being a part of a moderate size community, it is small enough that you are going to see familiar faces every day. However, it is still big enough that when on campus you have the opportunity to meet new people and not get to distracted when you are trying to hit the books. The dining is exceptional compared to the horror stories so many people have told me about University dining. We have several healthy options as well as many unhealthy options such as Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookie. There are over 400 clubs and organizations that a student is eligible to tryout for or join. I am involved in the student union at the Russell House, which is the central hub of campus and also the Sorority of Alpha Gamma Delta. Both of these organizations have helped to better me as a person and grant me learning as well as career options like I never thought I would be able to achieve.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC has a very diverse student as well as professor population. There are many student organizations specifically for different ethnic groups and religious backgrounds. For example some of the more abundant organizations pertaining to the above are the Amigos Del Buen Sameritano organization, The Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Alliance, and the Association of African American Students. These are just a few of the opportunities present to help people from different background find a smaller community to connect and grow with.

3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Depends on your major, there are some majors that have no chance in H E double hockey sticks getting an internship. If you're not a business major, you're going to be doing a lot of looking on your own. Also, there are a lot of Slacker Advisers so if you have a good Adviser be grateful and utilize them to the fullest extent; then send them a beautiful thank you basket upon graduation!

3 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Greek Life in the Greek Village is way too cookie cutter. Having different hair colors, different accents and such isn't enough to be "diverse"; sorry but it's not.

However, there is an exception Black Greek presence, as well as a Mixed Race group of Greeks that seem to be on the rise! Not saying that the Greek Village is all white by any means, just saying a lot of the groups could do a lot more to be unified with their Greek counterparts outside of their Borough. There are some sororities that i can easily name that do a great job reaching out to others! I have seen them socialize well after working with girls during sister sorority events. And then you have the girls that do a halfed job of faking niceness and being rude to girls who aren't in the sorority. So basically, know that What you see isn't what truly is with our Greek Life. Everyone is beautiful and pretty involved; but some lack the sincerity you'd expect from Southern Beaus and Belles.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: There are a lot of different racial groups but in small percentages. This is a majority Caucasian school and some of those students are still living in the 1800s with how they treat people. There is a lot of segregation also, but it's probably by choice because of the poor taste in jokes and comments made towards people.

But one thing, i can say, there are plenty of people on campus who are trying to make this a more unified campus!

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: There are a lot of visually attractive people on campus of various racial backgrounds. But everyone, with few exceptions, can be put into a "group" of sorts based on dressing style, friends etc. It really is like a continuation of high school.

There are some mean girls, who think that their beauty is reason to be mean to other girls and to do immoral things such as seducing boyfriends; but it's not common.

The fraternity men are pretty predictable and aren't exactly the eye candy on campus, but most of them are charming and eye catching for their leadership qualities and good manners.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The Nightlife at USC is considered really good. Most people go to five points, choices of bars are really limited if you are under 21 and don't have a fake. Some places make you pay a cover for being under 18. Five points can be a fun night sometimes. If you live off campus you probably have to take a taxi but a lot of on campus students walk. Five points is a really dangerous area though, a freshman girl was hit by a stray bullet a few weeks ago and is now paralyzed from the waist down. I prefer house parties which are better if you live in an apartment complex off campus.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking when you're coming from off campus is virtually impossible. That is what I am doing and I bought one of the cheaper passes which runs 80$ per semester. That is for the coliseum lot which I say I can get a spot in every 1/10 days. There are always cars circling around the full lot and so when a spot opens up it is taken right away. If you did some sort of illegal parking then theres a really good chance you got a ticket for it. Many people get tickets for things such as having your wheels touch the lines of the parking space or pulling through. I did not need a car my freshmen year. If you are bringing a car it is worth buying a garage spot even though they can be as much as 400$.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Gregory Goetz
Fort Mitchell, KY
Media Arts/Entrepreneurial Business
View all previous student authors

If there is one word to describe the experiences you will have at USC, it would have to be "unforgettable." Being away from home for the first time at USC is both exciting and scary at times, but the freedom you get when you come here feels natural. It makes you wonder why they don’t send people to college sooner! Academically, there are courses and professors who can make you look at things in ways you never considered before. Facts and figures will be thrown at you, but some of the professors (and your peers) can teach you a lot about life as well. It’s also a very cool thing to see laid-back professors who will sometimes move their classes out onto the Horseshoe lawn.

On top of this, with such a large student population, you will inevitably form new relationships that will last a lifetime. As at any college, the quality of the experience depends on what you put into it. There are thousands of new people to meet, tons of activities going on, and things to learn both in and out of class. Those who don’t take advantage of these opportunities will not get a lot out of their experience here. Some students get tired of being at USC after a while, and some hate it from the start for whatever reason. USC is not the place for everyone, but overall, students seem to be thoroughly enamored with Carolina and wouldn’t trade their title of Gamecocks for anything in the world. There seems to be an aura of its own inherent to the University, and its welcoming vibe is infectious.

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